Apparent Danger--The Pastor of America's First Megachurch and the Texas Murder Trial of the Decade in the 1920s

In July of 1926, the pastor of the largest independent Baptist church in America – in fact, the nation’s first megachurch – shot an unarmed man to death in his church office after an argument over a sermon. The notorious preacher was indicted for murder and faced the death penalty. The story was page-one news across the country. In fact, it may be the most famous story and courtroom drama you have never heard. Using more than 6,000 pages of newspaper articles, court records, and a variety of other published works, author and minister David Stokes vividly recreates the life of the most controversial figure in the history of fundamentalism in America. Apparent Danger yields clues to the origins of today's religious right and the modern phenomenon of preachers in politics. Was J. Frank Norris a dangerous cult leader? If so, there are many pastors today who have modeled themselves after the notorious preacher from Texas. Let the reader decide.

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    March 2013
    February 2013